Budget Work Session
May 18, 1999
Mayor Rocha called the workshop to order at 6:38 P.M.; City Clerk Martin called the roll.
Present: Council Members Freitas, Davis, and Mayor Rocha
Council Member Soliz arrived at 6:40 P.M. and Council Member Sudario arrived at 6:45 P.M.
Mayor Pro Tem Davis led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
City Manager Ramsey gave a brief overview of the meeting itinerary and objectives. He discussed the meetings scheduled for June 8, 15, 17, 22, and 29, noting the meeting on June 29 was tentative, and would be canceled if the 1999-2000 Budget was adopted by June 22, 1999. He announced a joint meeting between the City Council and the Antioch Unified District School Board would take place on September 1, 1999.
Financial Services Director Tasker outlined in detail the budget creation process explaining the direct relationship between the efficiency of completing the budget in a timely manner and the effectiveness of the finished product as related to cost analysis.
City Manager Ramsey stated one component of the budget process was staff=s determination of whether or not the services and programs presently offered were a true reflection of the needs and desires of the community. He then asked those members of the community present to relate to the Council the services and/or programs they would like to see added, removed, or changed for the Budget Year 1999-2000.
John Hall stated he would like to see more money spent to improve our roads.
Fran Vaughn asked Council to expedite the Highway 4 process and stated he thought road conditions was an issue as far as attracting economic development and jobs.
Barbara Sobalvarro requested more kennel personnel for Animal Services. She stated they needed a minimum of one additional full-time position, plus four part-time positions, and added the supervisors needed money for conferences necessary to keep personnel current on animal service issues. She stated her concern regarding Leisure Services having raised their fees to maintain their ability to be self-supporting, and thereby limiting the number of families who could afford to participate.
Jean Kuberra asked for an increase to the Public Works' Engineering Division, stating a permanent full time engineer would be more cost effective than a consultant. She further stated there was currently no staff for project management, and would like to see some concentration on the performance bond amounts for the warrantees of the work. She also asked for a half-time person be added to the Clerk=s Office.
The Council Members stated a variety of items they wanted included in the budget and agreed on several issues, among those were increased funds for road improvements, Animal Services, additional staffing in the Engineering Division of Public Works, funding for economic development, and MeasureAU@ implementation.
Other Council requests included review the Leisure Services policy requiring it to be self-supporting, and the resulting fees that preclude many families from participating in their programs even with the scholarships available; advertise and fill approved positions at the beginning of the fiscal year rather than at the end; consideration of additional lighting in those areas of higher crime; the Master Fee Schedule should be updated and appropriate increases made; Prewett Park fee decrease for Mello Roos residents and become self-supporting; developer fees be increased to offset the cost of residential housing inspectors; additional senior services; general beautification of the City, and specifically the corner areas of the city, such as Hillcrest and Deer Valley Road; the addition of a grant writer, possibly shared with the School District; a full-time person for Youth Services, and staffing for the City Manager=s office. It was requested staff to bring to Council any generally-accepted philosophies or assumptions regarding specific areas such as Leisure Services and Animal Services early in the budget process. It was requested a short discussion of the General Plan and the obligations it places on the Budget take place early in the process.
City Manager Ramsey stated School District Superintendent Jenkins would be recommending to the School Board the possibility of sharing a position. He asked if Council would prefer the position to be a City position shared with the School District or a School District position shared with the City and what Council saw as the duties of the position.
Council Members felt the position should bring the process of MeasureAU@ to conclusion. It was felt the position should be a City-based position, as the city was the decision making body regarding growth. The person would need to have a clear understanding of the procedures and policies of both the School District and the City, Mello Roos, debt financing, and the needs of each agency.
City Manager Ramsey explained the next step would be to take the information received, and work with departmental staff and Financial Services Director Tasker to implement as many items as possible, depending on the funds available. During the month of June, there would several meetings during which a Draft Budget would be created and a final draft presented to Council for approval on June 22, 1999.
In response to Council Member Soliz' request that staff not base the Budget on any new projected revenues not yet proven, City Manager Ramsey explained both the projected revenues regularly used, and the accuracy of those past projections.
Mary Zbacnik asked where the money from the Civic Arts Commission went when the Commission was disbanded. City Manager Ramsey answered the remaining money had not been designated to a specific project as yet, but would be included in the Final Budget.
Jean Kuberra requested an agendized item to set policy and direction for the staff person in the Lynn House gallery regarding arts and culture in Antioch. She also requested an explanation of the amendment process for the budget, such as how funding for a new position was allocated, or the transfer of funds from one account to another.
Barbara Sobalvarro stated the Hayden Bill (allowing animals to be kept longer before being destroyed) would soon be in affect, increasing the need for additional housing, more staff to care for the animals, and additional funds to cover those costs. She concurred with Council Member Freitas regarding the philosophy of the Animal Services being included in the budget discussions.
Fran Vaughn felt the budget process was a good time to improve efficiency within the City. He urged the City to use its website during the budget process to allow open dialogue between the City and its citizens= wish lists. He asked the stop lights be coordinated on Hillcrest Way and also on Lone Tree Way.
With no further business, Mayor Rocha adjourned the meeting at 7:47 p.m. to the regularly scheduled meeting of May 25, 1999.
L. JOLENE MARTIN, City Clerk
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